Recently, The Billings Gazette published articles relating to the largest Superfund site in the United States, which includes Anaconda/Opportunity, Butte and the Clark Fork River drainage. These articles spoke of the inception of the ACM and Atlantic Richfield Companies, the jobs they provided, the pollution caused, and the approach to try and reclaim the land and water that was devastated by these industries.
Yes, there were good-paying jobs created and many worked for the company, noting how the company took care of its people. What they didn’t know is what would be left for future generations to clean up, the pollution of groundwater, creeks and rivers. The contamination of the land on which people had built their homes. Illnesses that families suffered from the effects of the emissions of the smoke from the Anaconda smelter.
With cutting at the EPA, removing regulations on industry such as these only enables future companies to perpetuate the ongoing pollution of our environment. Is this what Montana wants? I would like to propose a means of creating hundreds of thousands of jobs Across the USA and eliminate the swamp in Washington, including the White House’s crew. We could build a pipeline from Butte to Washington, D.C., and pump the water from the Berkley pit to D.C. It would certainly clean the swamp, 3,000 geese can’t be wrong.
I say this in jest; however, money means so much to many of us we lose sight of the end results and could care less about those that have to continue dealing with the ongoing drudgery of clean up, which, in my estimation, will be here long after the mining ceases and Butte, like Anaconda, with all its history will become just another lesson in mining.